China promises aid for Gaza and praises relations with the Arab world

Palestinians fleeing unsafe areas in Rafah arrive with their belongings on Trucks and cars in Khan Yunis, further north in the southern Gaza Strip, following Israeli strikes. Naaman Omar/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
Palestinians fleeing unsafe areas in Rafah arrive with their belongings on Trucks and cars in Khan Yunis, further north in the southern Gaza Strip, following Israeli strikes. Naaman Omar/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
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Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday promised help for the Gaza Strip and spoke in favour of a peace conference, at a meeting with top representatives of Arab countries.

China supports full UN membership for Palestine and the convening of a larger, more authoritative and more effective international peace conference, Xi said in Beijing on Thursday.

Xi said Beijing intends to help with post-war reconstruction and would donate $3 million to the the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). "The war should not continue indefinitely, justice should not be permanently absent," the Chinese head of state and Communist Party leader said.

Beijing has taken a neutral stance in the current conflict in Gaza and has repeatedly called for negotiations on a ceasefire without directly condemning the attacks led by Palestinian militant organization Hamas on October 7 which triggered the conflict.

On Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry in Beijing once again expressed concern about Israel's offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and called on the "relevant parties" to end the fighting.

China has had good relations with the resource-rich Arab world for years.

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, Tunisian President Kais Saied and United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan travelled to Beijing for the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.

Beijing is investing money in number of projects in the region via its "Belt and Road Initiative." Xi listed green technologies and artificial intelligence as other potential areas of cooperation.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during an event in Berlin. Maurizio Gambarini/Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH/dpa
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during an event in Berlin. Maurizio Gambarini/Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH/dpa